Seven European teams will not wear 'OneLove' armband at World Cup


Published: 2022-11-21 15:46

Last Updated: 2022-12-01 14:54

Seven European teams will not wear 'OneLove' armband at World Cup
Seven European teams will not wear 'OneLove' armband at World Cup

Captains of seven European teams will not wear “OneLove” armbands at the World Cup in Qatar after FIFA threatened disciplinary action in the form of a yellow card to players who wear the band.

The seven European teams are England, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

This came after FIFA’s announcement that they are going to book captains if they broke the rules.

The teams said in a joint statement on Monday, “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.”

“As national federations, we can't put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.”

The statement continued, “We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.”

They expressed their frustration following FIFA's decision. FIFA also offered its own compromise in the form of an armband with the slogan "AntiDiscrimination."

Notably, the One Love armband was designed as part of a campaign that began in the Netherlands to promote inclusivity and diversity in football and society.

The armband’s symbol is a heart-shaped multi-colored logo associated with the 'pride flag' which is reserved for LGBTQ+.

The World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Sunday.

Also Read: FIFA chief blasts 'hypocrisy' of Western nations on eve of World Cup

Earlier, FIFA president Gianni Infantino blasted the "hypocrisy" of Western critics of Qatar's human rights record, making a passionate defense of the World Cup in the Gulf state on the eve of the kick-off.

The build-up to the tournament has been dominated by concerns over Qatar's treatment of migrant workers, women and the LGBTQ community, to the visible annoyance of organizers.

Qatar officials say their country has been the target of "racism" and "double standards" and they point to the reforms on working conditions and safety that have been hailed as groundbreaking in the region.

Football itself again took a back seat on Saturday, with the focus firmly on off-field politics just 24 hours before hosts Qatar were due to open the tournament against Ecuador.

Infantino, speaking at his opening press conference of the tournament in Doha, had harsh words for critics of Qatar.

"This moral lesson-giving -- one-sided -- is just hypocrisy," said the Swiss.

"I don't want to give you any lessons of life, but what is going on here is profoundly, profoundly unjust."

He added: "For what we Europeans have been doing for the last 3,000 years we should apologize for the next 3,000 years before starting giving moral lessons to people."

Infantino also expressed his support for marginalized communities.

"Today I feel Qatari, today I feel Arab, today I feel African, today I feel gay, today I feel disabled, today I feel a migrant worker," he said.

Another issue that has dominated the build-up to the tournament is the sale of beer in the Islamic state, which severely restricts alcohol consumption.

Organizers on Friday performed a dramatic U-turn, banning beer sales around stadiums just 48 hours before kickoff.

World governing body FIFA gave no reason for the surprise decision but media reports said there had been an intervention by Qatar's ruling family.

Dozens of Budweiser beer tents had already been set up at grounds ahead of the first game.

Infantino made light of the ruling on the last-minute change on Saturday.

"I think personally if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive," he said. "The same applies in France, Spain, Scotland."